Welcome to the BDO World Darts Championships, this year as has been the case since 1986 at The Lakeside in Frimley Green. With the champion taking home the cheque for £100,000 and the trophy it is all to play for . First onto the hollowed stage, is favourite and current BDO number one, Glen Durrant against the young Welshman, Nick Kenny.
A neat 140 from Kenny wasn’t enough for him to hold his throw in the opener as a sensational 167 from Durrant made a statement of intent. The youngster bounced back to break Durrant and level the match in the second leg to make it 1-1 on double 10. Kenny took out 56 in the next on double 18 to move a leg ahead and in the next he rattled in a 180 to open up a big lead. Another ton left him a shot at 161 for the set and he left himself a 80 chance that he took out no mistake giving him the first set and a chance of a upset.
Durrant looked like he meant business in the opening leg of the second set with a couple of 140’s and a 52 out shot. He notched a 180 and then another to set up a potential 9 dart leg but pulled the seventh dart into the single twenty, leaving himself 93. He missed on his next visit, Kenny had a chance to see off 68 but failed. Durrant took full advantage taking the leg to move 2-0 up in the set. Kenny took the next and got away with a 140 in the fourth leg but despite having darts to level up, Durrant slotted tops to win the set and restore parity.
After the break Kenny fired home a 140 with his first three darts and capitalised further with Durrant scoring poorly. Then with the pressure on Durrant pulled off a magnificent 180 to get him back in contention. Kenny needing 40 with Durrant breathing down his neck, took it last dart on double 10. A great start to the next leg saw a 140 from Durrant and a 180 from the Welshman; with both needing 124 Durrant left 25 as did Kenny as the both missed the bull finish. It was a gane of cat and mouse, eventually won by Durrant on double 2 to stop Kenny from moving further away in the set. Some slack darts from Kenny put Durrant in control of leg three which he took on tops. Kenny had a 121 attempt to save the set but was unable to do it with Durrant lurking on 60 for the set. He finished it bang in the centre of tops to take the third set to his delight and that of the following in the crowd.
Steady tons was the order of the day for Durrant as the fourth set opened, he added a 140 leaving 56 with Kenny way back on 170. Durrant missed tops and double 10 but was back for another go, seeing off double 5 as Kenny couldn’t make the maximum 170 out shot. A 180, his fifth of the match gave Kenny a shot at 41 but he struggled with two darts on double 16 allowing Durrant to make 84, trebling 20 and doubling 12 knowing that he needed one leg for the match. Another 180 from Kenny started the third leg of the set but it was Durrant who had first crack at a finish on 161. He pulled up short and Kenny with 170 left nearly cashed in with two treble 20’s but just missing the bull. Kenny escaped as Durrant missed his 71 effort and Kenny took out double 9 to stay in the match. That was to be that for Kenny as the man from Middlesbrough had a guaranteed six darts from 182 that he left on 32, claiming it on the second dart of his next visit to win 3-1. Had the man from Ormesby found his range?
Former Swedish strongman Dennis Nilsson was hoping to apply some strong arm tactics when he entered the Lakeside against Newcastle’s Ryan Joyce, both debutants but with plenty of experience on the BDO circuit. Joyce starting as favourite with the bookies won the first leg on double 8 but Nilsson responded in style nailing double 16 in the second leg. Joyce was first on a finish in the third leg leaving 32 from 165; Nilsson added pressure with a 140 but first dart Joyce was equal to the task collecting double 16 first dart. A slip into the five bed from Joyce allowed Nilsson the chance to race ahead but he was unable to open up any sort of gap. Nilsson left 64 with Joyce on 101 but Joyce left 32 and was able to return to polish it off to take the first set after Nilsson failed to see off double 16.
Nilsson needed 80 for the first leg of the second set but was a mile off tops; luckily for him he had time to revisit and take the leg as Joyce conspired to miss on his throw. The second leg was not setting the match alight and Joyce plodded along to a 70 finish to square it. A 140 from both players kicked off the third leg and a 100 from Joyce gave him a 164 chance that he left on 77 with Nilsson on 181. Joyce singled 7, twenty and then missed the bull hitting 25. Nilsson was unable to make any inroads so Joyce made it 2-1 on double 8. A 180 from Joyce gave him a decent lead and a chance of a 161 out; he missed the first treble but managed to leave 82 with the big Swede back on 200. Joyce managed to leave tops knowing he would definitely return and he closed out the 40 required to make it 2-0 in sets soon after.
Joyce needed to just hold his throw in the third set to progress to the next round and a tie against former champion Martin Adams. Nilsson gave him a chance slipping into the treble one on a combination finish but Joyce wasn’t quite up to the task and Nilsson managed to double 9 to break the throw. A 180 in the next from Joyce was matched by Nilsson and Nilsson saw off 24 for a two leg lead. A maximum followed by a 140 had Joyce in control of the third leg that he made sure of on double 18 for a ten dart leg. In the next Nilsson was first to a finish leaving 120 and a shanghai attempt for the set; he left 60 but was unable to usher it home. Joyce doubled 19 to level off the set in what seemed unlikely only a few minutes previously. In the deciding leg Joyce left 109 with Nilsson on 141; Joyce produced a fantastic finish on double 16 for the combination shot and keep his competition well and truly alive, 3-0.
The final game of the afternoon session saw World Darts Trophy holder Darryl Fitton take on the Netherlands Wouter Vaes. Fitton a familiar face at the Lakeside was the first with a 180 on his second throw. With 116 on the scoreboard Fitton left tops that he sorted out first dart no problem. Vaes had his nose just in front in the second leg until another maximum from Fitton gave him a big advantage, eventually leaving 38 with Vaes on well back. Fitton made it 2-0 on double 19 after missing his initial three darts at it. A scrappy leg struggled to get going until a 140 from Fitton left him on 48 but he missed two darts at double 16 then another three dart allowing Vaes in for a chance. Vaes missed his doubles and Fitton returned to take the set.
Fitton had first chance at a combination in the next leg, with a chance of 76 but he went over the top of double 18 giving Vaes a chance that he faltered on double 16. Fitton stepped in for the leg. A 140 from Fitton followed by a another had him in control of the leg, leaving 81 with Vaes back on 228. A 180 from Vaes added some pressure to Fitton’s throw but he wasn’t perturbed and went two nil up in legs on double 16. Vaes pulled a leg back and in the next leg left a 54 chance that he nailed on tops to set up a deciding leg for the set. Poor darts from Fitton, slipping into the single five gave Vaes a chance; he raced ahead leaving 107 but a 177 from Fitton gave him a chance of sneaking the set. Vaes couldn’t make anything of his chance and Fitton produced a splendid two dart 92 for the set.
A decent 140 from Fitton in the next leg helped set up 62 that he took out on tops. Vaes was unable to do anything to stop Fitton in the next despite having a 153 attempt, Fitton closing the leg in the mad house to put him one leg away from a whitewash in sets and a place in the next round. Vaes had to find answers when left with 167 but he missed on the bull. He returned for 34 but missed all three darts at double 17. Fitton with a reprieve, stepped up for double 8 and made sure of the match, three sets to nil.
The evening started with last year’s losing finalist Canada’s Jeff Smith up against the Japanese Seigo Asada. Smith no stranger to the big stage took the first leg with plenty in hand but it was Asada who left himself 98 after a 140 in the next leg. Asada made a hash off it so Smith returned to nail 46 and further his advantage, 2-0. Smith again raced to an advantage leaving 132 but he missed the bull by a whisper, clicking the wire. Nonchalantly Smith returned and fired in 25 for the set, whitewashing Asada 3-0.
Asada hit a 140 and gave him first shot at a finish in the opening leg of the second set. He couldn’t squeeze the last dart home but still had time for a recovery to double 8 and claim his first leg of the session. Asada clocked in a another 140 and a 125 left him poised on 96 with Smith hanging around on 63. He left 40 to give Smith a flicker of hope that he took, doubling 18 last dart on his 96 combination. Asada offered more resistance in the set, doubling 13 to put him back in front in the next. Smith left a 170 maximum checkout in the fourth leg but was not up to it, leaving 70. He amazingly bust the score hitting treble 20 instead of the single in the combination. Asada crept back into the leg, plugging away as Smith stuttered and with Smith missing three more darts at the double the Japanese contender doubled tops to surprisingly win the set.
Asada raced off again with a couple of 140’s and later added a ton to leave 40 that he picked off on double 10 with Smith a long way behind. Sloppy darts from both players in the second leg was the order of the day before Smith eventually made sure of the leg. He kicked off the next with a 140 but again both struggled to get into any rhythm, eventually Smith leaving 72 that he missed but left on 20. Asada offered no pressure and Smith put the leg to bed, moving 2-1 up in the set. Smith had a set point opportunity on 98 but conspired to miss it with Asada on tops to equalise. Asada felt the pressure taking breaks in between throwing and he watched in agony as his darts flew over the top of the doubles. Smith closed it out for the set.
A mesmerising 161 checkout from Asada chalked up the scoring in the fourth set to ignite the crowd. A 180 followed from Smith and an unlucky 116 outshot left him with plenty of time for the leg. He managed to double 9 to make it one apiece. A 136 from Smith and a 121 from Asada put them both on the edge of a three dart out; Asada left 84 but missed double 6, whilst with 126 remaining Smith left 38. Asada had his chance and couldn’t take it with the next three darts but Smith could and now needed just one leg for the match. Smith raced ahead in the next leg then added a 140 to leave 126 with Asada not on a finish. Smith set up 87 with a poor set of darts as Asada left 34 to pressure the shot. Brilliantly, Smith had one dart for the bull for the match that he planted in the red to go through where he’ll face Brian Dawson.
Two qualifiers in the guise of Mark McGrath and Roger Janssen were next to toe the oche. Belgian Janssen had a go at taking out 160 for the first leg but could only manage to leave 42. McGrath choked on his attempt at 96 and Janssen took the leg. New Zealander McGrath struggled in the next leg, not finding his first dart on the trebles. Janssen had left himself on 10, sealing it on double 5 to go two up. A 140 from McGrath was followed by a 140 from Janssen but McGrath then struggled from there on in, scoring poorly, again Janssen followed suit. With 7 left McGrath finished it off to get on the board and quickly added a 140 during the next leg to set up a huge lead over Janssen, needing just 85 with the Belgian back on 313. After a poor throw McGrath needed 52 that he had no problem with on tops. 2-2. Janssen steadied himself and slotted a 140 but followed up with a 26 in the deciding leg. McGrath offered little in response needing over 9 darts to get below 400; whilst Janssen slowly worked his way to leaving 40. Tops it was for the set.
A decent 140 from McGrath was matched by Janssen before the first maximum of the match by McGrath kicked off towards a superb 76 finish on his next throw. Janssen in leg two had a crack at 150 and needed to make a go of it as McGrath was on 36; he couldn’t finish. leaving 95. McGrath returned but missed double 18 for the leg. Luckily, McGrath was let off and he tidied up the leg on his next visit. McGrath now had a chance to level in sets needing a 151 outshot with Janssen not on a finish; leaving 58 for his return but he missed nervously and Janssen took out 60 for a leg he should’ve been nowhere near winning. A few slips into the one bed was McGrath’s undoing in the next leg when Janssen set up a decider doubling 9 to make it two all and taking the set the distance. A 140 for Janssen and a steady ton on consecutive throws put Janssen in command with a chance at 101; he missed but returned for tops for the set. Again he missed but McGrath also missed tops on a 60 checkout giving him another chance. He couldn’t take the initiative but Janssen missed with all three darts again leaving 4; McGrath missed with all three and it looked like the set would never be won. Janssen bust in the mad house giving McGrath another unlikely chance to seal the set. Stepping up to the oche McGrath composed himself but blasted his three darts over the side of the double 10, once again Janssen had a chance and this time he completed the job and more importantly took the set to give him a two set advantage in the race to three.
The third set started with McGrath picking off 32 on double 16 to open the scoring. A 132 left McGrath handy in the next on 126 that he just missed on the bull, hitting 25 but with Janssen on 160 he had a chance of returning; return he did and made short work of it to go 2-0 up in quick time. A 180 in the next from Janssen set him up for a 96 finish with McGrath on 66; he missed the double 8 and McGrath took the third set.
Another 180 from Janssen kicked off the fourth set but he found himself behind as he failed to even be on a finish with McGrath on 20 after darts. McGrath made sure on double 10 as he seemed to be the stronger of the two despite being behind in the match. McGrath manoeuvred himself into a good position in the next leg needing 142 with 101 required by Janssen. He could only muster 60 but Janssen missed tops for the leg on his visit; McGrath needing 82 polished it off no problem on double 12 and was now favourite for the set. A pull into the single one from McGrath went unpunished by Janssen but he could only leave 56. McGrath again had a slip and Janssen clinging on to the set made sure of 56 on tops to pull one back. With the match just ticking past the hour mark McGrath needed 167 for the set; he left 108 and Jansen was left on 90. A superb 108 from McGrath on double 18 to complete the shanghai made it two sets all.
For the first time this year at the Lakeside we had a deciding set and it was all to play for. A smart 140 from McGrath was countered with a 135 by Janssen and the Belgian found himself on 98 which he executed perfectly on double 16 to stop the McGrath charge. McGrath in the next left an 87 effort but he narrowly missed the double for the leg before returning to double 9 to level it all up after Janssen missed tops for the leg. A poor 41 at the wrong time for Janssen let McGrath in with a go at 96; a treble twenty and double 18 later and he was throwing for the match. A great 140 visit from McGrath left a bogey number 162 but it went totally unpunished and Janssen now looked defeated. McGrath left 58 for his return and totally turned the match on its head to seal victory on tops, coming from two sets down to win 3-2.
Crowd favourite Stockport’s Tony O’Shea versus Welshman Jim Williams was the last game of the opening days evening session here at Frimley Green and it was Williams who drew first blood, clocking out 47 on double 16 after O’Shea missed four darts at tops. A 140 left O’Shea in a decent position to see off 40 again but again he missed to leave a shot at double 10. Unfortunately for O’Shea he missed again and just like in the previous leg Williams sneaked in to go 2-0 up. An unfortunate three scored got the crowd and Williams laughing as O’Shea again nosed in front in the leg. This time O’Shea missed double 14 and Williams slotted tops to close out 78 for the set.
A 180 from O’Shea set up 44 but again it was double trouble for him as he conspired to miss the doubles again. Williams plotted out a 101 no mistake to take the opening leg in the second set. More steady darts from Williams had O’Shea struggling this time as the Welshman was first to a double but like O’Shea he missed on tops and like a role reversal O’Shea needed no second invite to nail 104 to get on the board. The third leg got under away with steady ton’s and odd 140 from the players but had first go at double with Williams wasting three darts on double 10 allowing O’Shea three darts at double 8. O’Shea missed with his attempt and amazingly Williams missed another three at double 10. O’Shea missed all three darts again letting Williams in but he missed and eventually O’Shea moved in front on double 1. A 180 from Williams helped him towards a 76 chance but it was not without pressure as O’Shea was on 64. Williams closed it out on tops to set up a decider. A 140 from O’Shea followed by a 180 by Williams got the decider up and running. Williams punished a 26 with a 140 on his way to 81; he missed but set up on 18 for double 9 that he finished off to go two sets up.
Williams needing to just hold his throw for the match started with a 140 to O’Shea’s 60. He was soon on 106 with O’Shea back on 211. A superb double 16 finished the combination throw for Williams to take the first leg of the third set. He got the next off with a maximum 180 and soon landed up on 98 which he clinically made for a 12 dart leg with O’Shea looking bewildered. Now throwing for the match Williams added a 180 to put himself on 81 with O’Shea on 161. Williams gambled on leaving 32, hoping O’Shea wouldn’t take out his finish. Williams gamble paid off and he returned and with his first dart marched through to the next round.
Day One Results…
Glen Durrant 3-1 Nick Kenny
Ryan Joyce (P) 3-0 Dennis Nilsson (P)
Darryl Fitton 3-0 Wouter Vaes
Jeff Smith (P) 3-1 Seigo Asada (P)
Mark McGrath (P) 3-2 Roger Janssen (P)
Jim Williams 3-0 Tony O’Shea